Q: Can you name your primary audiences?
Q: Have you talked to your audiences in the last year?
Q: Do you know how your product fits into your audience’s life?
If you answered any of these questions with “no,” surprise! You need audience research. Audience research is the one thing that’s going to ensure that your design and development teams are building the right product. A product that will actually be used by your target audiences.
The Role of Audience Research
When we embark on a project, we’ll first dive deep into research, either sending out surveys, conducting interviews, or doing usability testing. Why? Two reasons.
- Every time we conduct audience research, we learn something new! Every. Time. We’re also testing assumptions, but we inevitably learn a bit of new information about your audience’s needs, workflows, etc.
- We need this information to design a successful solution. Once we know more about your audiences we can craft pages, journeys, actions, etc. that help you and them. In short, we can design with purpose.
As UX designers, we can design products that follow best-practices and function well, but without audience research we can’t customize the solution with your particular audiences in mind.
What Do We Learn?
So what are we trying to understand when we conduct audience research? We want to learn more about your audience’s:
- Pain points
Ultimately, what we learn informs our design decisions and allows us to design for success. Specifically that means we now have the information to correctly prioritize the content, functionality, and actions on the site.
Audience Research Results
The analysis of the audience research usually results in the production of personas, which are snapshots/representations of a specific audience based on research, and user journey maps, which are visual depictions of how a person moves through the product and/or interacts with your organization. These two documents are handy for both our team and your team to reference throughout the project to ensure we are meeting your audience’s needs.
Audience Research Activities
So now that you understand the role of audience research, we’ll get into the specifics of a few audience research activities we love, including:
- KFFA (coming soon)
- Surveys (coming soon)
- Interviews (coming soon)
Contact us if you want to start a discussion around audience research!